To cap the result of a percentage-based calculation at a specific amount, you can use the MIN function. In the example shown, the formula in D6 is:


which ensures the result will never be greater than $1000.

Generic formula



This formula uses the MIN function to make a decision that might otherwise be handled with the IF function. Although MIN is usually used to return the minimum value in a data set with many numbers, it also works fine for the "lesser of the two" situations.

Inside MIN, the value in C6 is multiplied by 10%, and the result appears at the first number given to MIN. The number 1000 is supplied as the second value. The MIN function simply returns the smaller of the two values:

  • When C6*10% is < 1000, the result is C6*10%
  • When C6*10% is > 1000, the result is 1000
  • When C6*10% is = 1000, the result is 1000

Replacement for IF

To return the smaller or greater of two values, MIN and MAX can be a clever way to avoid a more complicated IF formula.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.